Breeders' Cup star World Approval to bypass Dubai Turf
Ante-post favourite World Approval will miss the Dubai Turf in favour of a campaign at home in North America, where he was named champion turf performer for 2017 after thwarting the Europeans in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Del Mar.
Trained by Mark Casse, the six-year-old made a successful return to action in Grade 3 company at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, when he extended his winning streak to six with a half-length victory over Forge.
However, although the race was supposed to act as a prep for the $6 million event formerly known as the Dubai Duty Free on the World Cup card on March 31, Casse told US reporters World Approval will not be travelling to Meydan after all.
"He'll not go to Dubai," said Casse, best known for the exploits of Royal Ascot winner Tepin.
"The Dubai race is almost nine furlongs, which stretches us – we don't believe he can go that far. He can go that far with the right company, but to go world class, to go on with nine furlongs, I think it’s just a little beyond his reach with the world’s best.
"He's a champion, and we're going to take care of him. He's been good to us."
World Approval's sights have been realigned, with the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile on April 13 at Keeneland now the primary target, possibly via next month's Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita.
Bob Baffert's Dubai World Cup favourite West Coast, second in the Pegasus World Cup on his most recent outing, worked three furlongs in 36.60s at Santa Anita on Sunday.
US sprinter Mind Your Biscuits remains on course to defend his title in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, despite a shock 2-5 defeat in minor company last week at Gulfstream, where he may have a prep in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint on March 3.
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